Happy Homeowners: The Lehman Family

IMG_5175Our newest “Happy Homeowners” blog brings us to Colin and Sarah Lehman, who recently built their new home in Raleigh, NC. Sarah and Colin began their journey by choosing their lot and plan, and have shared with us their experience of the whole building process and living in their new M/I home.  Take a look at their experience!

M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I home and what convinced you to choose M/I Homes over another builder?

Sarah & Colin: Yes, this is our first M/I home, and our first home. Initially, we were intrigued by the location of our neighborhood. We were looking to stay in Cary, and stay close to the greenway system and parks. We truly feel we found the best location of townhomes and best quality townhomes in all of Cary.

M/I: Are you happy about how your home turned out?

S/C:  Yes, absolutely!

M/I: What is your floorplan called and what features of your home do you especially love?

S/C: Our floorplan is the Fairview (3 bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom end unit). We love everything about it. Some of our favorite things are the tons of windows, walk-in master shower with bench, huge closet space, built-in bench in the entryway, fireplace, and screened-in porch!

M/I: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes. Did you pick your lot and floor plan to build the home, or was the home already started for you?

S/C: We had an extremely positive experience with M/I Homes. We picked our lot and the floor plan. We were the first ones to purchase in our community, so we were able to pick whichever lot we wanted. It was great to get in early, because we ended up getting a HUGE lot for a townhome!

M/I: Do you have any fun memories from building process?

S/C: We loved going over to the building site every Sunday to check out the progress. Going to the design center was also a lot of fun. A little overwhelming at times, but we tried to keep things simple and stick to our budget.

M/I: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

S/C: My husband would say the 2-car garage and open floor plan. But honestly—for me, it was the doors and the built-in bench.

M/I: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

S/C: It’s been fun to be the first ones in the neighborhood—we get to greet everyone as they move in. We’re looking forward to having more units close and having an established community.

M/I: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

S/C: Get in now with mortgage rates the way they are!

M/I: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

S/C: Ahhh- we have so many already! Since this is our first home, some of my favorite memories so far are working together on projects to make it feel ever more like home. Just last weekend we set up a small patio space for a grill. I also loved having our first overnight guests (we’re coming from a small 1 bedroom apartment), and having a house warming party.


M/I: What is your favorite space in your new home?  Do you have any pictures of that space that you would like to share?

S/C: These are our favorite things:

  • Large, open kitchen made to entertain
  • Open family room where our dog loves to romp
  • Screened in porch to relax after a long day at work
  • Big backyard

M/I: What was something that surprised you the most with building a new home?

S/C: I think the most surprising (and one of the best!) thing was that you didn’t have to break your budget with add-ons in the design center. With M/I Homes, your starting point is such a higher quality in comparison to other builders we found. They don’t trick you into a low base price and unrealistic expectations at the design center.  We got everything we were looking for at a reasonable price.

M/I: Any suggestions you would give for someone building a new home with M/I Homes?

S/C: Enjoy the process!


**Sarah and Colin are high school sweethearts who just celebrated their 3 year wedding anniversary. They are originally from Philadelphia, PA but have lived in Cary for the past 3 years. They have a sweet 1 year old dog named Kona who is there favorite running and mountain biking buddy.

Two Places to Consider When Relocating Near Raleigh

By Tali Wee

Moving is a big step – whether that means relocating a few blocks away or moving across the country. Regardless of your situation, it’s best to do research about the potential communities you’re considering moving to. Check out the local amenities, demographics of the area and pay close attention to the value of homes.

Weigh the options of available inventory in your favorite neighborhoods and compare the features of each property. Are the properties in good condition? Do they have comparable square footage, number of bathrooms, updated appliances and yard space? The details can keep you researching for months. Many buyers struggle to find all they’re looking for in one home, especially in markets where inventory is limited.

One solution is to consider new homes. New construction homes offer all the latest amenities and extra perks like energy efficiencies that help you save long term. In fact, some builders offer new-age energy standards sealing seams, ensuring air purity, incorporating local and sustainable materials and checking water drainage for the entire property and yard which can save buyers 30 to 40 percent on estimated energy costs compared to resale homes.

If you’re considering moving to Raleigh, NC and are entertaining the idea of new construction properties check out Chatham and Johnston counties.

Chatham County

Residents of Chatham County are within close proximity to the University North of Carolina (UNC) and the UNC Hospital providing both jobs and a lively community. M/I Homes, a Raleigh home builder, runs an Everyday Hero program where fire fighters, educators, law enforcement officers, medical providers or armed forces members (active, reserve or retired) are eligible for $1,500 off the price of their homes or $1,500 applied toward home upgrades.

The median price of all homes in Chatham County is $234,800, significantly more than the U.S. median of $180,100. Home values increased in the last year by 2 percent and are expected to rise another 2.7 percent within the next year. Although homes are pricey, it takes only 2.3 years for the cost of renting ($1,361 per month) to break even with the cost of buying a home; so it’s best to buy if you plan to stay longer than a couple years. Forecasted appreciation with long-term employment options nearby make Chatham County a great potential relocation town.

Johnston County

Another popular option for new construction homes is Johnston County, offering both ranch-style villas and traditional two-story homes, perfect for families. The town of Clayton is a welcoming, southern community with a recently built, nearby shopping center that hosts a summer concert series drawing interest from residents in surrounding areas. The Everyday Hero program is available in Johnston, too.

The median home price in Johnston County is $146,500, less expensive than Chatham and the U.S. as a whole. In the last year, values rose slightly by 0.9 percent, but are anticipated to rise another 2.8 percent in the next year. This prediction indicates healthy community growth and sustainable appreciation, a sign of a good investment. Rents in Johnston County cost $1,136 per month, less than both Chatham and the U.S. median cost ($1,369). If Johnston is the perfect location and you plan to stay for two years, it’s more cost effective to buy since the breakeven horizon is 1.8 years.

Whether Raleigh or another U.S. city is the best fit for you, be sure to evaluate the value of properties from an investment perspective and consider which properties are best suited for your daily lifestyle.

*** Tali Wee writes about finances, home improvement and interior design for Zillow and other partners.

Cool New Homes in 5 States Where Construction Is Booming

Originally Posted on Real Estate News by Erik Gunther

Where are cool new homes being built at a furious clip? To answer the question, realtor.com® recently crunched the numbers on new home construction across the nation.

North Carolina was chosen in this top five, coming in at number three, of where construction is booming.  Our beautiful Woods at Umstead community located in Raleigh, North Carolina, was chosen as the feature community for North Carolina.



See more pictures of our Woods at Umstead Community today!

Interested in learning about the other top 5 States where construction is booming?  Check out the original article here.  


This article was orignally posted on Realtor.com.  The article was to showcases new homes in the top 5 states with the largest number of new home plans and communities.  This has been edited for the M/I Homes blog.

M/I Thanks an American Hero

Operation: Coming Home | M/I Homes of Raleigh

M/I Homes of Raleigh was honored to have been the builder of Hero Home Seven for Operation: Coming Home.

On April 10th we presented Staff Sergeant Ollie Hughes and his wife Megan their new home in the South Lakes community in Fuquay-Varina. This is our way to thank all those who serve our country and to show our appreciation by presenting this home to Ollie and his family.

Staff Sergeant Ollie Hughes, a squad leader in the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, was injured while deployed for this second tour in Afghanistan. He underwent numerous surgeries and 2 years of physical therapy learning to walk. Ollie and his wife are looking forward to getting back to their North Carolina roots with their children.

Read on for Ollie’s story of bravery, perseverance and triumph, and see the photos that attempt to capture the day’s festivities.

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Read on + see more Raleigh news here.


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